Sunday, April 16, 2017
When ethnicity protects: An example of good Novus Ordo
An example, but not the only kind, of good Novus Ordo, the best the official Roman Rite had to offer in many places for decades after Vatican II and I imagine still is the best in at least some. (And is better than even 10 years ago thanks to Benedict XVI's reform.) Novus Ordo-fied but their heart is still with the old religion (I know it well; Msgr. Murray and his parish were just like this... it reminds me of the English for a few decades after the "Reformation"), here with ethnic culture serving as a hedge against Modernism. This is Sacred Heart Church, the historic Polish parish in Clifton Heights (it used to be a national parish; notice there are no Irish national parishes) and maybe merged with one or two other parishes now. (Yo, how's that "renewal" working out for youse?) The candles on the gradines in the reredos (behind the altar; what traditionally were the altar candles) happen to be electric lights. This parish took out the Communion rail and moved the mensa (the table that's the actual altar) forward probably only because they were told to. (Likely at great expense, especially for this blue-collar town.) Unlike Catholic liberals, they're obviously not trying to attack the teachings of the church. By the way, unusual in the archdiocese, this is one of the only parishes besides mine where there are no altar girls (the territorial parish I live in but don't belong to is a Lucia fest), but the sanctuary crew receives Communion in the hand and there are lady Eucharistic ministers. One wonders if some official years ago bullied these Polish-Americans into having both. Layfolk giving Communion don't affect the sacrament of course but I hate the liberals trying to force their agenda on me especially with something as intimate as worship, receiving Communion particularly so (think about it: Catholics and other apostolic Christians get to touch God), and in this case especially because I'm an ex-Anglican. (They're soft-selling the attempted ordination of women.) Partly why in five years back in the church I have never received from a lay person. They're supposed to be a practical thing under "extraordinary" circumstances. Note the icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa ("chenstahova"; being Roman Riters, except for her, Poles don't really do icons) and the Divine Mercy picture on the gradines; there's also a portrait of St. John Paul II in a side vestibule. (We are actually better off now even with Pope Francis, because Benedict the Great's reform still stands. What's helping us: Francis doesn't care about liturgy and he doesn't speak English.) The Stations of the Cross are in Polish with English titles on little signs below them, and the priest and congregation still speak some Polish; I understood what I heard.
Other good kinds include high-church (reform of the reform: make it look and sound like the Tridentine Mass, including eastward-facing; my parish did that before Summorum Pontificum freed up the traditional Mass; the ordinariates are the "libretto by Cranmer" version and yes, that's as strange as it sounds, given the history, as Cranmer came to hate the Mass) and "say the black, do the red," pared down with no attempt at music (that is, a Low Mass).
"For God so loved the world..." Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy upon us.